Bulltin N° 607
Subject: ON REASON, REVOLUTION, AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF SOCIAL CONFORMISTS.
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
It is not an original thought that the ruling class today throughout the advanced industrial societies have every interest in dumbing down the population, to better “fit” them --as interchangeable parts-- into a high-tech system of maximum profits, minimum wages, and repetitive work for a mind-numbing command economy, where the only reward is to escape punishment.
Readers interested in the history of the degradation of work from craftsmanship to industrial labor could do worse that to read Norman Ware’s classic book, The Industrial Worker, 1840-1860 (1924), to discover how our ancestors fought tooth and nail to save their bodies and their minds from exploitation and ruin by a ruthless industrial ruling class. They wanted the same thing that we today should be demanding, namely, complete control over the means of production, placed directly in the service of society and NOT for the private profit of a few.
To save our minds and our bodies from this onslaught, we must recognize that there is no neutral territory. The monopoly of power today is such that the sources and the instrumentrs of power are entirely visible; the information revolution has provided us with ample evidence and illustrations to enable us to draw the necessary conclusions, free from illusions, on how to save ourselves. If our human capacity to reason is diminished, it is only because of elaborate efforts on the part of our corporate rulers to produce ‘false consciousness’ and an infinite number of escape routes to circumvent rational exchanges. We have no one to blame but ourselves . . . . An early book intended to contribute to the popular education of the masses (as distinguished from bourgeois mystifications for future managerial elites) and to encourage the exercise of rational thought and craftmanship among ordinary people is Lancelot Hogben’s influential book, Mathematics for the Million, How to master the Magic of Numbers (1936). The hope was (and is) that ordinary people can learn to think creatively and for themselves, and once this happens democratic socialism appears as the only viable route toward real social improvements.
The 8 items below offer CEIMSA readers a look at the ideological and economic debacle that has stripped away the cover which once enshrouded the puppet shows used to animate the military/police state defending corporate interests, which always professes to ‘protect’ us from ourselves. Big business in its ruthless pursuit for maximum profits has wrecked havoc on the environment and on the lives of billions of people throughout the world. The economy of ‘artificial scarcity’ and the ideology of the ‘individuals against society’ has given rise to incompatible contradictions which are now apparent to vast numbers of people. How to get from here to there is now the question on the minds of thousands of millions of people, who have disabused themselves of ‘false consciousness’ and are now thinking for themselves and collectively discussing the important issues of how best to improve their lives. [See the open forums provided by sites such as ZNet and IOPS for more information about these growing networks of international dialogues.]
Item A., from Democracy Now!, is the April 11 broadcast devoted to climate change and the need for a planned economy with social guarantees for all.
Item B., from the Real News Network, is a video report by Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities".
Item C., from Michael Parenti, is a short statement explaining why some American women vote Republican.
Item D., from Jim O’Brien of Historians Against War, is a series of recommended recent articles.
Item E., from Edward S. Herman, is an a article by Pepe Escobar, first published in Asia Times, on the triangulation of the USA by Russia and China over Ukraine.
Item F., from The Real News Network, is a 3-part series reporting on Venezuela, the past and the present.
Item G., from Ed Herman, is an a article by Russ Baker, first published April 10 in WhoWhatWhy, discussing the new cover-up in Boston bombing saga—blaming Moscow.
Item H., from Information Clearing House, contain two articles describing the growing divide within the American ruling class.
And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to watch the April 8 video discussion by public intellectual Noam Chomsky, responding in Cambridge, Massachusetts to questions from an international Google audience on language and the significance of the Internet.
Noam Chomsky | Talks at Google
Professor of American Studies
University of Grenoble-3
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
From Democracy Now! :
Dates: 12 April 2014
Subject: The Environment Crisis and what to do about it.
From Richard Greeman & David Hookes :
Dates: 3 & 4 April 2014
Subject: The NSA, the FBI, and Tactics and Strategies for Whose ‘New World Order’?
Chris Hedges Speaks in Support of the Now Banned Students for Justice in Palestine Chapter at Northeastern University.
Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities" Full Event
From Jim O'Brien :
Dates: 10 April 2014
Subject: [haw-info] HAW Notes 4/10/14: Lemisch book available on-line; Links to recent articles of interest.
First, a note: Jesse Lemisch’s long-out-of-print On Active Service in War and Peace: Politics and Ideology in the American Historical Profession (1975), based on a paper he delivered at the 1969 AHA convention, is now available on-line. Here are links to it on the History News Network site and Academia.Edu.
Links to Recent Articles of Interest:
By Nicolas J. S. Davies, AlterNet.org, posted April 8
Traces a pattern of US interventions, drawing a parallel with happenings in present-day Venezuela
By Lawrence S. Wittner, Huffington Post, posted April 8
The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany. This article concerns the soon-to-be restored Golden Rule and its predecessors.
By Zbigniew Brzezinski, Frank Carlucci, Lee Hamilton, Carla A. Hills, Thomas Pickering, and Henry Siegman, Politico, posted April 8
Calls on the Obama administration to resist unreasonable Israeli demands in the current negotiations
By Chris Hedges, Truthout.org, posted April 7
Lengthy review of Hasan Blassim's new book of short stories, which Hedges calls "the most important book to come out of the Iraq War"
By Richard Sale, Truthout.org, posted April 1
On the dynamics of the Syrian civil war, and how they have changed over time
By Richard Baldoz, Truthout.org, posted April 1
On the background of US legislation agreeing to the independence of the Philippines
By David Stockman, "Stockman's Corner" blog, posted March 26
The author was director of the Office of Management and the Budget under President Reagan.
By John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted March 26
On the rise of far-right influences
By Edward S. Herman, Z Magazine, posted March 26
Review essay on Gareth Porter's new
book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold
Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare
By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, posted March 21
Brings together all five parts of the author's detailed series on the failure of the War on Terror, with special focus on Saudi Arabia
Interview with Russ Bellant, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted March 18
Thanks to Rosalyn Baxandall, Steve Gosch, Larry Wittner, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.
From Michael Parenti :
Dates: 11 April 2014
Subject: [Clarity] GOP Women by Michael Parenti.
I posted a slightly shorter version of these brief remarks on my Facebook page.
by Michael Parenti
Someone (a woman) asked why would any woman in her right mind vote Republican. Here is a brief rendition of my thoughts on that question:
GOP women who come from an affluent background are as interested in preserving and advancing their class prerogatives and privileges as their men are. They have money and servants and nannies and numerous other comforts and support systems. And they live so well, travel to luxurious places and choice vacation spots. They have their needs well met, shall we say, even no trouble getting an abortion under the best conditions when they want one. They and their entire family enjoy the top medical services. They send their kids to the best schools. They wear the finest clothes and love the grand spacious houses they live in.
One could go on. Struggling over feminist gender issues and wage equality is, well, just not to their taste. Don't take my word for it, ask Nancy Reagan or her affluent GOP sisters.
Of course, my remarks do not explain why poorer, working class women vote GOP. What they have is what we call "false consciousness" i.e., voting against your class interests because your political (mis)understanding has injected you with fears about gay marriage, or legal abortion, or immigrants, or environmentalists who might get the factory shut down, or people who are not super patriotic enough or not religious enough. So the upper crust GOP women can be as wedded to their privileged life as their men, and the poorer GOP women can be as misled and impassioned around deceptive issues as their men. Fox news does an effective job on both groups.
Michael Parenti, author of The Face of Imperialism and Waiting for Yesterday (an ethnic memoir)
From Edward S. Herman :
Dates: 12 April 2014
Subject: How the Ukraine Crisis Has Drawn Russia and China Closer Together.
From: Robert S. Rodvik [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:57 PM
To: Robert S. Rodvik
How the Ukraine Crisis Has Drawn Russia and China Closer Together
New Axis in the House?
by Pepe Escobar
By the time you read this Russia will have invaded Ukraine. Well, that’s what the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, is spinning. Breedlove Supreme says the Russians are “ready to go” and could easily take over eastern Ukraine. Western corporate media have already dusted off their Kevlar vests.
Now compare Breedlove Supreme with a grown-up diplomat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who has called on NATO to please de-escalate the “unreasonable” warmongering rhetoric, which also includes officially ending all civilian and military cooperation with Russia and planning more military moves in Eastern Europe.
While NATO – shorthand for the Pentagon’s European division – freaks out, especially via its outgoing secretary-general, Danish patsy Anders Fogh Rasmussen, let’s see where we really stand on the ground, based on leaks from both Lavrov’s and US Secretary of State John Kerry’s camps.
The heart of the matter – obscured by a rainbow bridge of hysteria – is that neither Washington nor Moscow want Ukraine to become a festering wound. Moscow told Washington, officially, it has no intention of “invading” Ukraine. And Washington told Moscow that, for all the demented rhetoric, it does not want to expand NATO to either Ukraine or Georgia.
Whatever Washington’s actions, they won’t convince the Kremlin the putsch in Kiev was not orchestrated in large part by goons allied to Kaghanate of Nulands – aka US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nulands. At the same time, the Kremlin knows time is on its side – so it would be totally counterproductive to even contemplate “invading” eastern Ukraine.
Compound the vicious catfight among dodgy factions in Kiev, from fascists to Saint Yulia “Kill all the Russians” Timoschenko; Gazprom raising the price of natural gas by 80%; and the International Monetary Fund about to unleash some nasty structural adjustment that will make Greece look like Cinderella playing in a rose garden, and all that Moscow needs to do is sit back, relax and watch the (internal) carnage.
The same applies for the Baltics – which, as NATO hysteria would have it, might be invaded next week. As the Baltics are part of NATO, then we would really have the Brussels Robocops going ballistic. Yet only trademark arrogant/ignorant neo-cons believe Moscow will break complex political/trade relationships with Europe – especially Germany – risking a hot war over the Baltics. The Germans don’t want a hot or cold war either. Even in the extremely unlikely event that would happen, what would macho, macho NATO do, under Pentagon’s orders? Invade Russian territory?
That does not even qualify as a lousy joke.
By the way, as bad jokes ago, it’s hard to top Olli Rehn, vice president of the Kafkaesque European Commission, stressing that ” in the interests to maintain peace and stability on our continent” the European Union is part of the 11 billion euro (US$15 billion) IMF/disaster capitalism package to plunder, sorry, “help” Ukraine, and this while EU citizens are unemployed and/or thrown into poverty by the millions.
As for Berlin’s top priority, that is to at least try to steer the EU out of an almighty crash, which implies keeping the equally economically devastated Club Med and Central Europe on board while fighting off the rise and rise of nasty, “normalized” neofascism. “Massive undertaking” does not even begin to describe it. Why add a confrontation with Moscow to this indigestible bouillabaisse?
New axis in the house.
Moral high ground epiphanies such as this Guardian editorial (“he gained a peninsula but lost a country”) are pointless. Same for minion Poland freaking out and asking for more “protection” from the Brussels mafia.
Predictably, Western corporate media is spinning Putin “blinked” when he phoned US President Barack Obama to try to set up a solution package – which includes, crucially, a federalization of Ukraine. The Obama administration – even staffed by astounding mediocrities – knows this is the only rational way ahead. And no amount of “pressure” will bend Moscow. Those go-go days of imposing whatever whim over serial drunkard Boris Yeltsin are long gone. At the same time, Moscow is a realist player – fully aware that the only possible solution for Ukraine has to be worked out with Washington.
So Ukraine is essentially a detail – and “Europe” is no more than a helpless bystander.
Who are you gonna call in “Europe”? That Magritte-style nonentity European Council President Herman Van Rompuy? Anyone who’s been to Brussels knows that “Europe” remains a glorified collection of principalities bickering in a smatter of languages. Machiavelli would easily recognize it as such.
To top if off, the Obama administration has no clue what it wants in Ukraine. A “constitutional democracy”? Moscow might even agree with that, while knowing, based on rows and rows of historical/cultural reasons, it’s bound to be a failure. The red line though has been spelled out over and over again: no NATO bases in Ukraine.
Rational players in Washington – a certified minority – certainly have noticed that if you don’t play ball with Moscow, Russia will play very hard ball within the framework of the P5+1 (the UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany) negotiations on the Iranian nuclear dossier.
Only the blind won’t see that Moscow and Tehran are evolving towards a closer strategic partnership as much as Moscow and Beijing. There’s a real strategic geopolitical axis in the house – Moscow-Beijing-Tehran – and the whole developing world has already noticed that’s where the real action is. But as far as Ukraine is concerned, the stark fact is this is all about the US and Russia.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at email@example.com.
From The Real News Network :
Dates: 11 April 2014
Subject: Venezuela, a history lesson.
Mr. Lander tells Paul Jay that in '98, when he saw the whole of the establishment getting together to defeat Chavez, he voted for him even though he had a lot of reasons not to like him.
Venezuela, a History Lesson (1/4)
with Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself
From Edward S. Herman :
Dates: 13 April 2014
Subject: Baker on NYT on Russian responsibility for Boston Marathon investigation failure.
An enlightening article.
New Cover-up in Boston Bombing Saga—Blaming Moscow
by Russ Baker
[This leak, which clears the FBI of all charges of incompetence or worse, comes just when the “American conversation” will again intensely focus on the nature of the “war on terror” and the trustworthiness of our vast secret state.]
 Maybe you heard: the Russians are responsible for the Boston Marathon Bombing. At least indirectly.
That’s what The New York Times says. Had the Russians told the Americans everything they knew about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the bombing might have been averted by the FBI. The *Times *knows this because it was told so by an anonymous “senior American official” who got an advance look at a report from the “intelligence community.”
Anyone who still entertains the fantasy that America is a vigorous, healthy democracy with an honest and reliable security apparatus and an honest, competent, vigilant media need only consider this major news leak just published as a New York Times exclusive <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/us/russia-failed-to-share-details-on-boston-marathon-bombing-suspect.html>
 It pretty much sums up the fundamental corruption of our institutions, the lack of accountability, and the deep-dyed complicity of the “finest” brand in American journalism.
Killing Two Birds with One Stone.
Just days before the first anniversary of the Boston bombing on April 15, some unnamed “senior American official” puts the blame for the bombing squarely on…Vladimir Putin.
It takes a keen understanding of certain members of the American media to know they will promote, without question, the latest “intelligence community” version of events. Which is that responsibility for the second largest “terror attack” after 9/11 should be pinned on the Russians, currently America’s bête noir over Ukraine.
Consider the cynical manipulation of public opinion involved here. The government permits, presumably authorizes, a high official—the Attorney General or someone of that status, perhaps even the Vice President—to leak confidential information for no apparent purpose beyond seeking to put a damper on legitimate inquiries into the behavior of the American government at the most fundamental level.
And the world’s vaunted “newspaper of record”—its brand largely based on insider access and the willingness of powerful figures to give it “hot stuff” in return for controlling public perceptions— shamelessly runs this leak with no attempt to question its timing or provenance.
Let’s look at what this article actually says. Here’s the opening paragraph:
The Russian government declined to provide the FBI with information about
one of the Boston marathon bombing suspects two years before the attack
that likely would have prompted more extensive scrutiny of the suspect,
according to an inspector general’s review of how U.S. intelligence and law
enforcement agencies could have thwarted the bombing.
And here’s the “takeaway”:
While the review largely exonerates the FBI, it does say that agents in the
Boston area who investigated the Russian intelligence in 2011 could have
conducted a few more interviews when they first examined the information.
The FBI agents also could have ordered turkey sandwiches instead of
pastrami, which surely would have been a little healthier.
So, New York Times, should we trust the anonymous individual, or more importantly, the report that none of us have seen?
The report was produced by the inspector general of the Intelligence Community, which has responsibility for 17 separate agencies, and the inspectors general from the Department of Homeland Security and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Now, the Times doesn’t offer any useful context on why these reviews took place, beyond a pro forma effort to respond to complaints from a handful of congressional members (see this<http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/10/25/grassley-on-boston-bombing/>
 The article does not address the quality or credibility of this “self-investigation” and the overall track record of these investigators.
Nor does it express undue interest in why the report appears to have been finished just in time for the anniversary of the bombing.
In our view, the article is one hundred percent “stovepiping.” That’s when claimed raw intelligence is transmitted directly to an end user without any attempt at scrutiny or skepticism. This is irresponsible journalism, and it is the kind of behavior (from The New York Times again) that smoothed the way for the U.S. to launch the Iraq war in 2003.
The Times doesn’t even point out how self-serving the report is, coming from an “intelligence community” that has been publicly criticized for its actions leading up to the Boston Marathon bombing and its behavior since.
(For more on the dozens of major reasons not to trust anything the authorities say about the Boston Bombing, see this<http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/03/11/9006/>
 For perspective on the media’s cooperation with the FBI in essentially falsifying the Bureau’s record throughout its history, see this : <http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/04/09/media-conned-public-loving-fbi-book-review/>
 Now let’s consider the core substance of the new revelations:
[A]fter an initial investigation by the F.B.I., the Russians declined several requests for additional information about Mr. Tsarnaev….
Did the Times ask the Russians about this? Did they find out if the Russians actually “declined” several requests, or whether they ever got back to the FBI?
The anonymous official notes one specific piece of evidence that the Russians did not share until after the bombing: that intercepted telephone conversations between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother included discussions of Islamic jihad. The official speculates that this information might have given the FBI greater authority to conduct surveillance of the suspects.
 However, the reality is that the Russians had already warned that Tamerlan was an Islamic radical, and it is not clear how this additional information would necessarily have provided anything truly substantive to add to a request for spying authority.
It’s also highly questionable, based in part on Edward Snowden’s revelations, whether the FBI or the NSA were actually adhering to such restrictions on spying anyway. Finally, it’s worth noting how truly remarkable it is that the Russians shared such intelligence at all. That they didn’t want to volunteer that they were capturing telephone calls is not that surprising, on the other hand.
Hiding the Real Story?
The Times does mention, almost in passing, what should have been the key point of an article: the timing of the “news” regarding the report:
It has not been made public, but members of Congress are scheduled to be briefed on it Thursday, and some of its findings are expected to be released before Tuesday, the first anniversary of the bombings.
This leak, which
clears the FBI of all charges of incompetence or worse, comes just when the
“American conversation” will again intensely focus on the nature of the “war on
terror” and the trustworthiness of our vast secret state.
It also comes, most conveniently for the Bureau, at the precise moment when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense counsel has been seeking to learn the exact chronology and nature of the FBI’s interaction with the Tsarnaev family.
Months ago, we ran Peter Dale Scott’s rumination, <http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/06/23/was-tamerlan-tsarnaev-a-double-agent-recruited-by-the-fbi/>,
 on whether the FBI could have recruited Tamerlan Tsarnaev as an informant, as it has done thousands of times before with other immigrants of a similar profile. Recently, the defense for Tamerlan’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, essentially claimed this was correct—that the Bureau at least
attempted to recruit the older Tsarnaev. That has been cursorily reported by the major media<http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/03/28/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-attorneys-seek-government-evidence-tamerlan-say-may-help-defense/PJoDIO3Tdf3zIau7VM9m8L/story.html>,
 but no one seems to have connected the dots linking this claim to the new report that conveniently exonerates the FBI for failing to take action against the Tsarnaevs in time to stop the bombing.
A Curious Little Slip.
As we have previously reported, it was the same duo of New York Times’ national security reporters, Schmidt and Schmitt, who had first, inadvertently it seems, raised a tremendously important question: when did the Tsarnaev family first come to the attention of the FBI?
[image: Capture] <http://whowhatwhy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Capture3.jpg>
The Russian warning to the US about Tamerlan Tsarnaev purportedly came in March 2011.
But according to an earlier article<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/us/boston-marathon-bombings.html?pagewanted=all>,
 by Schmitt and Schmidt (along with a third reporter), the Bureau’s first contact with the Tsarnaevs came in January 2011. Though the *Times *did not make anything of this fact, it would be enormously
consequential—because it would mean that the FBI was interacting with theTsarnaevs two months *before *the Russians suggested the US take a close look at Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
If that was in error, the Times should have issued a correction. But it hasn’t. (Neither Schmidt nor Schmitt responded to WhoWhatWhy’s emails requesting comment.)
Interestingly, Schmidt and Schmitt, in subsequent articles, including the recent one, make no more mention of this early FBI contact. As it stands, the New York Times is on record of having asserted, again based on what sources told it, that the FBI was interacting with the Tsarnaevs before the Russians ever contacted it. If that early report was true, then by definition, the Inspector General’s report (and the leaked article about it) would be calculated parts of a cover-up about an FBI foul-up.
Conversely, if the early report was in error, then we need to know who provided it, or how they got that information wrong. Serious investigators know not to reject anomalies and “wrong” early reports as simply the result of haste or rumor without at least checking out the possibility that the early reports were right—but were later suppressed because they might cause problems to someone in power.
It is worth noting that the revelations in the new report—sure to be picked up by other media outlets that tend to repeat unquestioningly whatever the Times’ publishes—will be all the average American remembers about the FBI’s failure to prevent the Marathon bombing, and what may lie behind that failure.
Most members of the public will never know of the substantial indications that something is seriously wrong with what the government has put out about this affair. They will only recall that the FBI was somehow “cleared.” And they will probably remember that Putin’s Russia was somehow at fault.
In the final analysis, what we have just witnessed is the kind of arrant manipulation that shows the contempt of the “system” for the “people.” The “best” news organization gets another exclusive story. The US government gets to point its finger again at the Russian bogeyman. The FBI and the security apparatus get another free pass.
And the American people, once again, are fed pig slop and told to imagine sirloin.
From Information Clearing House :
Dates: 12 April 2014
Subject: A House Divided . . . .
Senate committee found CIA interrogations and detentions to be 'brutal'.
CIA And White House Under Pressure
by Spencer Ackerman
The CIA’s claim “is BS,” said a former U.S. official.
CIA’s Use of Torture Went Beyond Legal Authority, Senate Report Rays
by Ali Watkins, Jonathan S. Landay and Marisa Taylor